Whisper it, but it is only six weeks before that moment Chelsea fans have been dreading more than any other.
At 4pm on Sunday 23rd October, Jose Mourinho will return to Stamford Bridge, as Manchester United boss, and the eyes of the world will be upon the spectacle.
He has been back in opposition before, of course, but never as a domestic rival – never as one standing between Chelsea and the very trophy he delivered them three times.
And the emotions are likely to be very raw when the moment comes.
The headlines this week quoting two Chelsea players applying a good thumb-print of tarnish to the already slightly faded gleam of The Special One's Stamford Bridge gleam, were a sign of things to come.
Eden Hazard's barbs about the way Conte 'played the game', so knows how to put trust in his payers; and those from Gary Cahill about the need for Chelsea to have a game plan were, consciously or otherwise, directed only one way.
International breaks are tricky times for club PR departments – none more so than Chelsea's.
Players head off in all different directions, far from the beady eye and gentle coaxing of their day-to-day press officers, and are asked all manner of questions by media not usually camped on their patch.
Hazard is well known for nonchalantly kicking-up a storm while away with Belgium, and one imagines Chelsea are ready to roll into crisis management mode pretty much every time he returns from international duty.
But, in this case, those quotes are far more innocent than they may at first seem: having first got an airing two weeks back – displayed, of all places, on the Chelsea club website.
Missed by the press at the time, they have gone through an evolution whereby they were rehashed in Spain, and then resurrected for Thursday morning's papers once more.
But, featured beneath the star name Hazard in most publications, it is the Cahill lines which are more pointed.
The defender is generally seen as a safe pair of hands with the media by his club: he speaks well, but is adept at keeping to a brief.
It would be very un-Cahill-like for him to be as direct to lambaste the ex-boss' game plan, without at least some initial steer from the people who pay his wages.
The club knows it, the smarter of the players know it, and most fans in their heart of hearts know it: Chelsea need to wrench themselves away from the idolatry of Mourinho, and they need to do it quick.
And this seems to be just the start of that – this weekend's Manchester derby being the peg on to which the longer strategy has, for now, been hanged.
The bigger fight will be that in the stands, where opinion is still very much divided on Mourinho.
Here, most appear to be happy to remember great times with their ex, but there is a difference of opinion over whether people still hanker after his affections.
The issue of the 'Jose Mourinho: simply the best' banner has been a sore one since the day he left.
Keep it up? Take it down? Or, as was jokingly suggested by one influential fan: hang it upside down, or stick it on a bonfire?
The problem with such bold proclamations in football is that loyalty is short: and 'the best' is only that, until your new best comes along.
The temperature of the reaction Mourinho receives when he returns will, in large, be decided by what comes out of his own mouth in the week before that.
While it is in Chelsea's interests, not least for the respect and support of Antonio Conte, to put clear blue water between them and he; it is also in Mourinho's interests to prove that he is now United through and through.
Over the course of those coming six weeks, these are the battles we will see fought out.
But, whatever the intentions, remember this: there really is no such thing as a friendly divorce.